Moorman Salesman's Sample Hog

Value (2012) | $2,000 Auction$3,000 Auction

Don, you have brought a really interesting object, and I know you've been bounced from table to table because no one knew quite what to tell you about it. It looks like a handbag, doesn't it?

That's what it appears to be when you first look at it, yes.

But the interesting part about it is it's cast-iron, and inside it has all the innards of this wonderful hog. Tell me, how did you get this piece?

I bought it years ago at a flea market, and I'd never seen anything like it, and I thought I'd better bring it in here and let you tell me what it is.

Uh- huh. What'd you pay for this?

I can't remember. That's one of the penalties of being old, you forget what you pay for things. It wasn't a whole lot.

Well, we call these salesman samples. They're often confused with miniature toys or handmade folk art pieces. Actually, very skilled craftsmen made these to go on the road with the salesmen. And it was to sell a product. And we even have the Moorman Manufacturing Company in Quincy, Illinois, who it was their property and obviously their product and materials to sell.

That was hog country, wasn't it?

Hog country, right. And it's in just fabulous condition. We have this wonderful paint that's just beautifully crazed on the outside.

I've had two offers on it this morning.

What were they? Oh, this morning?

$11 and $12. One guy came up, ran up to me and he said, "My wife collects pigs." I said, "Is that right?" He said, "Yeah," he said, "I'll give you $10." He was serious.

(laughs) Because the condition is so remarkable, I would put the value on this of about $5,000.

My goodness gracious! My g...!

Appraisal Details

Heritage Auctions
New York, NY
Update (2012)
$2,000 Auction$3,000 Auction
Appraised value (1998)
$5,000 Auction
Louisville, KY (July 11, 1998)

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